Gantz blames Netanyahu for Rabin assassination

Netanyahu: Gantz won’t be my defense minister

Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on the anniversary of the death of Yitzhak Rabin. (photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)
Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on the anniversary of the death of Yitzhak Rabin.
(photo credit: GPO PHOTO DEPARTMENT)
Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night of incitement that led to the assassination of then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Speaking with Channel 12’s Meet the Press program, Gantz was asked about a taped conversation revealed by Channel 13 last week, in which he said Netanyahu would harm him physically if he could.
He recalled that ahead of the assassination, Netanyahu addressed a rally in Jerusalem’s Zion Square in which a Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operative held up a small piece of paper with Rabin in an SS uniform, which Netanyahu has said he did not see from the balcony. Gantz also said the then-opposition leader took part in a 1994 rally in which there was a coffin inscribed “Rabin is burying us” and “Rabin is killing Zionism.”
“We were talking about incitement, and where sanctioning it can go,” Gantz said. “Remember, such things happened in the past. Netanyahu was on the stage in Zion Square, and he followed a coffin, and we saw how such exaggerated behavior ended up. It should be taken seriously.”
After reports that a mole had been leaking his closed conversations, Gantz said “Netanyahu has been using classified information of the State of Israel for his own political needs.”
He revealed that he has been in contact with the heads of parties to obtain their support when faction leaders tell President Reuven Rivlin after the April 9 election who they would like to see form the next governing coalition.
“Other parties know the Netanyahu era is over,” Gantz said.
The Likud responded that the interview was too soft on Gantz.
Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is close to Netanyahu, said in a cultural event in Petah Tikva on Saturday that he believes Netanyahu will form the government, that Gantz will ask to be Netanyahu’s defense minister, and that the Likud “will consider all of our options.”
Netanyahu responded on Saturday night by promising that he would not appoint Gantz as his defense minister.
Blue and White issued a response to the prime minister, saying that Netanyahu would not be a minister in Gantz’s government because he would be too busy dealing with his three criminal indictments.
Meanwhile, Labor began a pressure campaign to get Blue and White’s number two candidate Yair Lapid to give up his agreement with Gantz on a rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office with Gantz if Blue and White forms the government.
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich said at a cultural event in Ramat Hasharon that such a move would gain the Center-Left two to three seats. Labor secretary-general Eran Hermoni said Lapid was “the weak link” preventing his camp from winning.
“If your slogan is correct and Israel comes first, put your ego aside and give up the rotation,” Hermoni said.